Magnetic Magazine‘s Kane Michael keeps an eye out for the latest trends for modern music makers not only as a senior gear editor but also as a DJ/producer. If you have a special musician in your life or want to spend some money on yourself (you deserve it), Michael has you covered. Here are Magnetic Magazine‘s gear picks for the holidays!
AIAIAI H05 Bluetooth Headband: $125
One of the biggest trends of 2016 and 2017 was wireless headphones. With Apple removing the aux port from phones, it’s easy to see why. However, choosing a pair that sounds great is limited at best. Danish company AIAIAI, makers of the modular TMA headphones, have released a Bluetooth headband to solve just such a problem. If you already own a pair of their regular headphones, you simply replace the headband and you’re ready to rock. If you don’t you can fully customize your listening experience with the different speaker and cushion configurations.
Platform Studio Desk: $549-$799
Along with creating the right mood, having the right desk can also be a make or break a studio session. The sleek, modern, and simple design of the Platform desk combines to create a piece of furniture art that is just as at home in a studio as it is in your office. The Kodiak Brown color adds a touch of class and elegance as well. Add the optional pullout keyboard tray for even more space.
Roli Seaboard Block: $299.95
Another company we love is the UK-based Roli, creators of the groundbreaking Seaboard. Their MPE-powered MIDI keyboards have completely changed what it means to add expression to your digital workstation, and their new Block version adds another level of portability and ease. It can be used alone, or in whatever configuration you choose due to the modular design. Add a few Lightpad Blocks and you’ve got your own personal MIDI controller.
Boy Smells Kush Candle: $32
Setting the mood, and creating the right vibe is so crucial, yet so often overlooked. Things like candles, lighting, and other bits can take a sterile environment, studio or elsewhere, and turn said space into a place of pleasure and excitement. The eco-friendly Kush candle mixes cannabis, suede, white musk, tulip, and amber to create a warm, slightly floral, but extremely fresh-smelling scent that will have you in the zone in no time.
Get to know Kane Michael:
I grew up listening and playing in hardcore punk and metal bands in Orange County, California. Electronic music started hitting the scene and attending my first EDC festival was a life-changing event. I found so many people on the same wavelength. The year following the festival, I enrolled in Icon Collective music school. Just this past year, I got to perform a set at EDC, which was a big full-circle moment for me.
I began as an audio engineer for Magnetic Magazine and when the gear editor role came on my radar, it was a natural transition for me as I use and investigate these products every day as a producer and DJ.
My own setup is changing all the time. Ultimately, it helps with creativity to have new tools on hand as it introduces new ways of making music. From there, you can focus on what your core is and simplify that as much as possible.
When I was a student, it was far and few in between where I can go to find the information I was curious about. So when it comes to writing, I have this in mind when I start to ask questions: How does it sound? How would I use this? Is it simple or easy to use? If not, is it complex for a reason?
In this way, I can be as insightful as possible so anyone from the enthusiastic novice or the gear nerd can hopefully learn something.
Apart from my reviews, I run the podcast Lights Out featuring music I like and In Conversation featuring in-depth, relaxed conversations with electronic music’s greatest minds so others can get information straight from the source.
Most recently, I produced an In Conversation with Charlie Klouser, the former keyboardist for Nine Inch Nails, at his studio where he composed the Saw films.